Île-de-France (literally "Island of France"; see the Etymology section) is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-seven administrative regions of France. Created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961, it was renamed after the historic province of Île-de-France in 1976 when its administrative status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Despite the name change, Île-de-France is still popularly referred to by French people as the Région Parisienne ("Paris Region" in English) or RP. It is almost completely covered by the Paris metropolitan area. The region is made up of eight administrative departments: Paris, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines.
With 12 million inhabitants, increasingly referred to as "Franciliens", an administrative word created in the 1980s, Île-de-France is not only the most populated region of France, but also has more residents than Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Portugal, Norway, or Sweden, with a population comparable to that of the U.S. state of Ohio or to that of the Canadian province of Ontario. It is the fourth most populous country subdivision in the European Union, after England, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bavaria.
Economically, Île-de-France is the world's fourth-largest and Europe's wealthiest and largest regional economy: in 2012, its total GDP as calculated by INSEE was €612 billion (US$788 billion at market exchange rates). If it were a country, it would rank as the eighteenth-largest economy in the world, larger than the Dutch economy and nearly the same size as the Turkish economy. Île-de-France is also the world's second most important location for Fortune Global 500 companies' headquarters (after the Kantō region).
The ancien régime Isle of France (then referred as such in English), is one of the historical provinces of France, and the one at the centre of power during most of French history. The province was centred on Paris, seat of the Crown of France. The area around Paris was the original personal domain of the king of France, as opposed to areas ruled by feudal lords of whom he was the suzerain. This is reflected by divisions such as the Véxin Français and the Véxin Normand, the former being within the King of France's domain, the latter being within the Duke of Normandy's fief.
The old provinces were abolished during the French Revolution in the late 18th century and divided between newly devised subdivisions called departments. An area not entirely corresponding to the historical Île-de-France province was created in 1959 as district de la région de Paris ("District of the Paris Region"). The district was reconstituted as the Île-de-France region on 6 May 1976 and increased administrative and political powers devolved in the process of regionalisation in the 1980s and 1990s.